Lower Funnel Keywords

Written by Fraser McCulloch. Last Updated 26th March 2022

Learn these lower funnel keyword strategies to target buyer intent in your SEO and PPC campaigns.

But first, 

What types of search queries are lower or bottom funnel keywords ?

A bottom of the funnel keyword is a search term that a prospect makes when considering a purchase.

You can filter the seed keyword with some of the following keyword modifiers using any keyword research tool.

  • Buy
  • Offer
  • Nearest
  • Deal
  • Discount
  • Cheap
  • Sale
  • Price
  • Pricing
  • Hire

Here’s a graphic highlighting the main keyword modifiers (UK) used at this stage.

purchase decision keyword modifier word cloud

You could also include the evaluation stage in the lower part of the buying process, where people review and consider alternatives on the Google search engine.

The buying funnel stages

Here’s a quick recap of each buying funnel stage.

Problem Recognition (upper funnel)

A search is performed by a potential customer looking to solve a problem; other SEO’s would call these your awareness keywords or the upper funnel.

Informational Search (middle of funnel)

A search is done by a user looking for information about a product, service or brand that may help solve their problem.

You will find branded queries in this stage of the funnel.

Evaluation of Alternatives (middle, bottom funnel)

Once the user has found several different solutions to solve their problem, they will evaluate alternative options.

They will search for product alternatives, make a product comparison search and look for trusted reviews.

Purchase Decision (bottom or lower funnel search intent)

The purchase decision stage is that stage just before people purchase.

They will search the nearest location or store or search terms such as offer, sale, buy, cheapest and so on.

Purchase decision intent or bottom-funnel keywords tend to be the most competitive phrases to rank for or bid on with PPC.

Only 9.1% of all keywords are bottom of the funnel keywords

In my buyer intent study, I analysed 85,000 keywords and discovered that 9.1% of keywords have purchase decision intent.

That’s the people that use “buy, order, purchase, cheapest, nearest, shop, store, offer, discount” and so on.

How to find bottom funnel keywords with a keyword research tool

There are several ways to find bottom-funnel keywords.

  • Google Search Console
  • Google Analytics
  • SEO Scout
  • Keyword research tools such as Ahrefs and Ubersuggest.

SEO Scout

Or, if you don’t have a paid-for keyword research tool, try this.

  • Go to SEO Scout
  • Enter a seed keyword, select your language and country and press go
  • SEO Scout will group keywords into different buckets

This approach helps you to identify the low or bottom of the funnel keywords.

These keywords or queries are ideal for mature or authoritative websites.

Google Adwords or Analytics

If you run Adword campaigns, you can find lower or bottom-funnel keywords in your Google Adwords or Analytics account.

  1. Go to Google Analytics
  2. Select Acquisition
  3. Select Google Ads
  4. Select Search Queries
  5. Select a date range for the last 12 months
  6. Ensure 5000 rows are shown
  7. Choose Export
  8. Import into Google Sheets

The search queries report used in your Adwords campaigns will look like this when imported into Google Sheets.

I have a Google Sheets automation tool that helps me figure out the user intent or stage in the buying funnel for each query.

So, scroll down and delete all the queries that don’t result in a paid search transaction and apply intent to each query.

Your report will look like this.

Now add up the number of transactions and the value of transactions for the keywords at each stage.

In this example, here’s what I discovered.

Bottom Funnel Keywords accounted for 3% of transactions and 2.1% of revenue in over the lifetime of a paid search account.

lower funnel keywords account for 3% of transactions and 2.1% of revenue in a paid search account.
analysis of 2100 keywords that results in a purchase from a Google Ads account.

So not only are there very few purchase decision intent keywords that lead to transactions, but these queries also lead to lower average order value.

Now granted, I am only analysing one PPC account.

Someone like WordStream or Hubspot would be better versed in analysing a large number of search campaigns.

But I did discover that search queries containing “buy”, “order”, “sale”, “delivery”, “store”, “near”, “cheap” spend 30% less than informational keywords that result in transactions.

Comparing Lower Funnel Revenue versus Informational Search Revenue 

revenue from Google Ads campaign by buyer intent

Again this data is taken from one PPC account over 12 months.

Run Paid Search and SEO campaigns, not targeting lower funnel keywords, but informational search keywords

Google said 60% of shopping queries are upper-funnel searches.

My research has shown that only 9.1% of keywords are purchase decision intent (bottom-funnel keywords), and 77.9% are informational search keywords.

However, lower funnel keywords have a higher sales conversion rate than keywords in other parts of the funnel.

Examine paid search campaign keywords and omit non money keywords

Look at the historical performance of your paid search efforts and campaigns.

You can omit search queries that don’t result in purchases from future ad campaigns.

This will save on your ad budget.

Examine your money keywords and improve existing content

Look at the keywords with the most purchases or revenue from your Adwords campaign.

Now you into Google Search Console and find out where these keywords rank organically.

For example, I have a client that sells bags online.

They’ve sold nearly 200 bags with a paid search conversion rate of 9.16%.

They rank organically at position 16 in Google the bag search query.

This is a perfect opportunity to invest in improving their existing website content and boost internal and external links to their proven selling product.

Turn top 10 paid search queries into blog posts

Sort the paid clicks report by click volume.

Now look at the top 10 keywords or search queries.

If you don’t already have blog posts or existing articles targeting these queries, create an informative article.

Then, within the body of the article, link to the product or collection pages.

In addition, you can do outreach campaigns such as roundups or resource link building to earn links to your informational content.


As Google and my research have found, most of your potential customers are muddling around in the middle of the funnel.

You can’t survive or run a business relying solely on lower-funnel keywords.

Use your Adwords data to eliminate non-buying search queries and use the money keywords to create content to rank better organically.

Let’s look at low competition keywords next.